Friday, September 12, 2008

Drill, Baby, Drill?

Do we really want to drill oil in the off-shore waters of the Untied States? Does the “Drill, Baby, Drill!” chant (at the Republican Convention) reflect a wise, long-term solution to “our nation’s addition to oil”—as President Bush put it? Or, is it one of those positions we used to take when we were five years old, where we wanted what we wanted it, when we wanted it, put our hands over our ears and wouldn’t listen to anything else?

Even the economic experts and oil companies agree that no oil from drilling off-shore will show up at the pumps for five or ten years. And, there isn’t much oil in off-shore America. The public is going to be paying millions in incentive tax breaks for this delusional (a false belief or opinion) off-shore drilling decision that won’t change gas prices, will put our environment in jeopardy, and incur more global warming--while the government is taking away any tax incentives away from wind and solar power here in the US—that really could make our country energy self-sufficient.

Not to mention, that there are always going to be oil spills from drilling oil in the oceans—and when they do and create massive damage to the environment. And, of course, the oil companies will do everything in their power to not pay for proper clean-ups (like in the Valdez oil spill ) when these inevitable spill do occur.

So, the public is swooning over the prospect of drilling for oil when they should know better. And, their politicians are falling all over themselves to please this public because they want the public’s vote. The illusory goal of elevating gas prices now will hamper our children’s ability to live sustainable lives because (like in the 70’s) we will bypass an opportunity to learn from another gas crisis and move wholesale to a renewable energy agenda.

They say we learn History so we won’t repeat mistakes. But, in the United State lately, when something bad happens, like a sharp jump in gasoline prices, our tendency is to shoot the messenger by angrily denying Global Warming and never asking questions later. We don’t look at the global warming issue critically and see a gas crisis as a warning and an opportunity to change; we find more places and more ways to drill and drill and drill again—like some Hollywood superhero with a violent, quick-fix, seemingly satisfying solution to a perceived threat that leaves us gasping for our popcorn.

Throw out science, throw out economics, throw out history, and throw out our future, but drill, baby, drill. However, even if you have doubts about Global Warming, wouldn’t it be prudent to check out the science on this matter? Doesn’t it seem rational that in a system as complex and chaotic as our climate, with a long latency period for changes in temperatures to show up in the weather, that we must act long before we are absolutely sure man-made global warming is occurring?

Drill, Baby, Drill” is on the delusional level of attacking Iran for its role in 9/11, which was not involved in the 9/11 attack.

Listen to Thomas Friedman who says it much better: Fresh Air from WHYY, September 8, 2008 . “Thomas Friedman is a man bent on revolution. In his new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist writes about the need for a green revolution — and calls upon Americans to lead the charge.” - Fresh Air from WHYY

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